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Tributes paid to victims of knife and van attacks in Nottingham

A police officer stands by a cordon outside the Theatre Royal on Upper Parliament Street in Nottingham
A police officer stands by a cordon outside the Theatre Royal on Upper Parliament Street in Nottingham Copyright DARREN STAPLES/AFP or licensors
Copyright DARREN STAPLES/AFP or licensors
By Joshua AskewScott Reid with AP
Published on Updated
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Man arrested after early morning attacks which left university city stunned

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Tributes have been paid to the victims of a series of attacks in the English city of Nottingham. 

Two 19-year-old students at the University of Nottingham, Barnaby Webber and Grace Kumar, and 50-year-old school caretaker Ian Coates were fatally stabbed in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

Three people were also hit by a van police believe was stolen from the older stabbing victim. One was left in a critical condition in hospital. 

Police subdued a suspect with a stun gun nearby and detained him on suspicion of murder. Counter-terrorism police are involved in the investigation but no link to extremism has been confirmed. 

The incidents unfolded over about 90 minutes across a large swathe of the university city.

A Nottingham University graduation ball scheduled for Tuesday evening was cancelled, with many students gathering instead to light candles for the victims during a vigil at St Peter’s Church.

Webber’s parents and brother said he was “a beautiful, brilliant, bright young man, with everything in life to look forward to.”

“A talented and passionate cricketer, who was over the moon to have made selection to his university cricket team,” the family, from Taunton in south-west England, said in a statement.

“Complete devastation is not enough to describe our pain and loss at the senseless murder of our son.”

Kumar also played cricket and had played field hockey for England youth teams. Woodford Wells Cricket Club near London said she was “a fiercely competitive, talented and dedicated cricketer and hockey player” who was “fun, friendly and brilliant.”

The school where Ian Coates worked also paid tribute. "Ian was a much-loved colleague who always went the extra mile for the benefit of our children and will be greatly missed," the school said in a statement. 

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak thanked police and emergency services for their response, saying he is being "updated on developments".

"My thoughts are with those injured, and the family and loved ones of those who have lost their lives," he said.

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